Unmatched excitement. Unquestionable doubt. Incredible exhilaration. Extreme exhaustion. Just like the Road to Solopreneur Success is hardly a linear journey, so is the quest of launching a five-day Bundle with the goal of getting in front of as many female solo business owners as possible.
Each day was met with a rush of adrenaline unlike any other -- a clear sign that we would be sad when this was over. And sure enough, we are. (Though we did enjoy having a free weekend...) But we are also overwhelmingly grateful. For the contributors who made the Bundle possible. The affiliates who acted as amazing ambassadors. The solo business owners who stepped up and invested in themselves + their businesses.
Thank YOU for giving us the opportunity to make this happen, and for being able to have so much fun doing it.
In case you missed it:
The Solopreneur Success Bundle was a one-stop shop for the some of the best resources out there to help unlock a solopreneur’s potential and lead them to greater success.
The Bundle included 19 products valued at $1504. It was made available for five days only at just $99, from September 14-18, and included resources on creating passive income, setting up your finances, streamlining your business, pricing your products, writing copy + content, building your online community, and much, much more.
It was an epic deal and an epic week to say the least. Here’s our behind-the-scenes round up:
You know you’re in launch mode when...
- You’re watching real-time Google Analytics stats at.all.times. (Minimize the screen + move it to the corner so it’s always visible? Check.)
- You’re monitoring FB and Twitter ads like a hawk.
- You’re exchanging squeals on GChat with your virtual biz partner or accountability buddy.
- You go back and forth between overly delighted and incredibly sleep deprived (in a matter of seconds).
Things we tried for the first time:
- Well, a Bundle, for one!
- A blog tour (you can read the posts here -- but, spoiler alert! -- look out for an ebook soon!)
- Blab! It’s a platform that’s being described as Periscope for groups. We’re obsessed and will be hosting many, many more -- like this one.)
Things we wanted to say but couldn’t:
- This is seriously the best deal we could’ve dreamt up. It’s salesy and could be douchey, but holy shit do we mean it. We believe in this.
Things we didn’t expect + where we went wrong:
- Going to bed at 2am (after launching at midnight) and waking up at 7am to find the site was down for three hours during that time.
- Double-checking everyone else’s links in the delivery PDF but forgetting to check our own.
- Trying to re-upload a new file with the new links only to have it keep failing because of new sales (both a blessing and a curse).
- Having the site get hacked and spending four hours on Friday just trying to keep it alive. (Lesson: keep your site + plugins updated. Hackers love to see a high traffic week and find the holes! We were SO thankful that it held on until the
- Not clearly outlining the terms of our affiliate commissions in our initial outreach emails. (Lesson: don’t assume everyone will understand how things will work.)
What we did right:
- Committed to making it extremely easy for our contributors and affiliates to promote the heck out of the Bundle. (Provided copy, graphics, social media updates, and more in one easy-to-update Google Doc.)
- Added a fun ticker countdown clock to the sales page when we were down to 12 hours to go -- it added some urgency and reminded people that this deal won’t last (said in our best infomercial voice).
- Offered a cash bonus to contributors and affiliates to encourage them to promote the Bundle more and to say thanks!
- Made sure our contributors (we had 17 of them) were shown our gratitude afterwards with a thank you email and Starbucks gift card. (Because… coffee.)
What came of the Bundle (besides money to invest back into OWS!):
- 157 solo business owners who are now in possession of 19 awesome business-building resources.
- Hundreds of new One Woman Shops as part of our community.
- Several applications for OWS membership.
- Great content for an ebook. (Thanks to our blog tour contributors!)
- Increased backlinks to the site (also thanks to the blog tour -- hello, SEO).
- $1,570 invested in female micro-entrepreneurs around the world through Kiva!
Transferrable lessons (feel free to shorten your learning curve with these!):
- Plan to be very available during your launch (we got compliments on our quick turnaround time on customer service issues) but do step away for a work out, nap, or glass of wine (things won’t fall apart in an hour). When you’re running a limited-time sale, it’s tough not to want something to be happening at every minute, but patience + sanity is crucial.
- Know that not everyone (partners or potential buyers) will see value in your product or service...and that’s okay!
- Accept that setting launch sales goals can be super tough -- our plan of attack was to do everything we could in preparation and then know we couldn’t control the outcome. As the week progressed, we were able to set more accurate targets and stretch goals. (We did our best to follow our new rule of thumb, “Do what you can without stressing yourself out.”)
Things we’re grateful for (we could probably make a shorter list of things we’re not grateful for…):
- Our contributors, affiliates, and Bundle buyers. Seriously -- you all made this happen.
- Our community -- for sharing the Bundle; for alerting us when the site was down in an incredibly understanding way on Monday morning; for simply being there.
- SendOwl -- for a seamless affiliate experience. It was our first time using the platform, so we learned as we went (allow for two download attempts instead of one, for example), but the platform itself was fantastic (which is why that link is an affiliate one!).
- Patience. We certainly ran into some snafus, but 90 percent of people were patient with us as we worked behind-the-scenes to keep everything running!
The Bundle expense report:
- The foremost expense was our time. We began planning for the Bundle and doing initial outreach in May and June, and it became a significant project from the minute it was started. Perhaps next year, we’ll keep track, but it’s safe to say a few hundred hours went into making this happen.
- Graphics. We built a sub-brand for the Bundle with the help our fantastic designer, Christie Montague. We had her design a comprehensive graphics package that included three variations of social media graphics, blog headers, sales page elements, blog tour graphics, and more so that we could provide contributors, affiliates, and blog tour participants with anything they could possibly need.
- SendOwl + Paypal fees. SendOwl is a monthly fee of $15, while Paypal charged us a per-transaction fee.
- Facebook and Twitter ads. Knowing we had an army of affiliates spreading the word was amazing for our word-of-mouth marketing, but we also wanted to invest in some social advertising to expand our reach. Over the course of the pre-launch week and actual Bundle week, we invested ~$250/day in social advertising. (And were super grateful for resources like this to point us in the right direction!)
- Bonuses. We decided to run two cash bonus contests: one amongst contributors and one amongst affiliates. We paid out $300 in cash bonuses and gave away three Bundles. In addition, we spent just under $100 on fun surprise bonuses for our contributors at the end.
Ideas we’re entertaining for our next go around/what we’d like to try:
- Contributors were in the Bundle this year on an invite-only basis. Other ideas we might consider: implementing a pitching/review process or a nomination process.
- Set up Google Analytics to better track our conversion goals -- or potentially hire our analytics out to someone.
- Tag our URLs in order to track the origin of sales better.
- Change the text on our pop-up to mention the Bundle.
- Add a sidebar ad (so people can find out about the Bundle no matter what page they’re on).
Word on the street: what others said + are saying about the Bundle:
- “I think it’s an awesome idea and have enjoyed watching you put it all together :)” - Kerry Swetmon
- "...because seriously, what a ridiculously good deal" - Natalie Real
- “I just wanted to say hey and tell you that I purchased the Solopreneur Success Bundle today and I'm seriously so stoked for it. I can't believe all the goodies you ladies gathered into this bundle and the price was ridiculous! (ridiculously good lol)” - Shay Orlena Brown
- "I have no idea how you're cramming so much value in for such little investment. Well done girls!" - Naomi Liddell
- “I'm hoping to soon be a fulltime solopreneur. I have no doubt that these tools will help me towards that goal.” - Krystal Hart
- “Yet again One Woman Shop delivers!! I've started diving into the Solopreneur Bundle and I am blown away! I've spent months of endlessly googling and trying to figure out what drives and inspires me and the first bundle I've opened has hit the nail on the head in under 10 minutes! If this is the outcome of opening the first package I can only imagine how far the rest of the bundle can take me. Thank you for offering such a wonderful collection, it's fantastic to see such a powerhouse group of female entrepreneurs coming together.” - Emma Winch